Adepoju, Shorunmu differ on Ighalo’s return to Eagles

Former Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju, has queried the rationale behind the invitation of Saudi Arabia-based striker Odion Ighalo to the national team.

Eagles coach Gernot Rohr last week announced that Ighalo, who retired from the team two years ago, was in his 40-man provisional list for next month’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Speaking with journalists during the final of the 40th CBN Governor’s Cup at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan, Adepoju said although Ighalo was a potent striker, there were younger players in the national team doing well in their clubs.

With an avalanche of young strikers — scoring goals week-in-week-out for their clubs in Europe — at Rohr’s disposal, Adepoju, an AFCON winner and veteran of three World Cups, wondered why the Franco-German needed the 32-year-old Ighalo.

“I like Ighalo as a player, he is a very good striker. He retired from the Super Eagles two years, so, if he is recalled to do what the strikers in the team are doing, well, I don’t know the reason for that,” Adepoju said.

“We have (Victor) Osimhen scoring very well for his club, we have Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi and so many of them.

“If we have players who are doing very well and scoring goals in their clubs, do we still have to recall Ighalo? It’s just my opinion.”

But former Eagles goalkeeper, Ike Shorunmu, opined that the coach wanted the best for the team, with the recall of Ighalo.

“The coach wants the best for the country and he if says he wants Ighalo, as long as he gives us result, it is his choice,” Shorunmu said.

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